Type 2 diabetes (T2D) affects more than 371 million people worldwide, costing an estimated $4671 billion in health care costs.

New research shows that dairy products may be able to help stem this costly epidemic.

The report, published online Tuesday by the journal Frontiers in Diabetes, looked at numerous peer-reviewed articles regarding the connection between diabetes and dairy. The results proved overwhelmingly positive for dairy, especially low-fat products.

“Evidence indicates that dairy intake is significantly associated with a reduced T2D risk, and likely in a dose-response manner,” researchers from Dairy Farmers of Canada and McGill University in Montreal concluded. “The association between low-fat dairy and T2D risk reduction appears consistent.”

Research even suggested that the risk of T2D was reduced by 6 percent with each additional daily serving of dairy products, and the risk was reduced by an even greater percentage when low-fat dairy products were served. 

“Given the increasing amount of evidence on the beneficial role of dairy products in T2D risk reduction, ensuring optimal dairy intake may represent an additional key strategy against this epidemic,” the report said.

Read the full report here.